Oil Life Question [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Oil Life Question

21st March 2006, 11:54 PM
All my life I've lived with the thought that oil should be changed between 3,000 and 4,000 miles. Then I got my 9-7X and it's oil life system so I thought cool we'll see, maybe it will get me to 5,000 miles or so and I can always look at the oil and judge. So I've hit 3,000 miles and the system says I have 70% life left, this has me stressing out. I can't believe that it's reasonable to go potentially 10,000 miles on regular oil.

What is everyones thought on this? I know I could pay to get the oil changed and not worry but I have to figure that the engineers can't be this far off.

23rd March 2006, 09:08 AM
Synthetic oils and filters have come a long way in the last couple of years. My brother in-law has a Cayenne and believe it or not, their oil changes are set for every 20k miles. That bothers me much more then our recommended 10k.

There are new synthetic oils from Mobil, for example, that are designed to run for 15k miles...

In all honesty if you have a large oil capacity and large efficient filters then 10k miles is not unreasonable at all. Although I find the oil life indicator a convenience, I don't fully trust it. Its easy enough to go by the mileage and make it a common practice to check the oil and under your car's hood at least every other week.

23rd March 2006, 01:10 PM
Frankly that's what I've been doing. I'm keeping one eye on the oil life system and one eye on the dip stick. So far the oil looks fine for the mileage. I haven't been in that much stop and go traffic plus the outside temps have been very reasonable so in theory I can agree with it's estimate. It still makes me nervous though.

23rd March 2006, 04:25 PM
If it makes you nervous just have it changed, tell the shop not to reset the oil life and you will still get the free Saab maintainace when it gets to 20%.

23rd March 2006, 09:03 PM
I know I could do that, and I might but I'm trying to adapt to new ideas. So I'll go with the flow for a while. It's certaintly not the free oil change I care about.

24th March 2006, 10:01 AM
Just a note......the 9.7X does not have synthetic oil in it. They all have regular oil.....Change it accordingly.

24th March 2006, 10:51 AM
Just a note......the 9.7X does not have synthetic oil in it. They all have regular oil.....Change it accordingly.

I'm not sure about your truck, but mine does have Synthetic and its scheduled accordingly.

24th March 2006, 02:09 PM
Did you switch to synthetic on you 9-7X? My manuals show nothing about synthetic, which was the reason for my original question about trusting the oil life system.

24th March 2006, 08:05 PM
I'm not sure about your truck, but mine does have Synthetic and its scheduled accordingly.

You or your dealer would have had to put the synthetic oil in it. The 9.7X definitely comes with regular oil from the factory and the Saab "no charged schedule maintenance only pays for regular oil. Unless your dealer is eating the cost difference of the synthetic.

24th March 2006, 09:46 PM
one thing to remeber this oil life system isn't new. the 97 corvette had it with the ls1 and that was the first of the current generation systems. your oil life monitor runs off of rpm, so many rpm and it considers the oil's life over. of cource it add or subtracts metrics based on load, engine temp, ambeint temp, humditiy, engine run time, etc. its pretty involved and complicated, but very well calibrated. GM will warranty a motor who has only had oil chnages when the system says its time for oil changes. also remember your sump holds any where from 6.5qts in the 5.3 to 7.5qts in the 4.2, and these engines have been kicking aorund for quite a while now. so far they have not had oiling related issues.

if it makes you feel better i know of an 03 escalade with the 6.0 (same engine design as the 5.3) that has rolled 300k, and only had oil changes based off of the oil life index, and so far no internal engine troubles.

25th March 2006, 12:38 PM
The great oil debate makes it to every auto forum and there are a million opinions. The one thing you can do that is objective is either A-change it regularly 3-5k miles depending on dino juice or syn to avoid any concerns you may have, or take samples of your oil and send it into testing facilities to get objective feedback on breakdown, chemical alterations, etc. Testing is cheap(about the cost of an oil change). There are 2 things to remember here-quality of the fluid determines how much damage can be done due to extended change intervals and how long it will last before molecular breakdown.

I drive a '94 325IS with a 2.5 liter inline 6. 200k miles of which I change the oil every 7,500-10,000 miles. I use high quality oil usually Amsoil or Redline, M1 if I am in a pinch. I still race my car once in a while at the track, and drive it daily in Chicago. No problems. I also flush my brakes bi-annually, coolant bi-annually, trans bi-annually, steering fluid bi-annually & the same for my differential fluid. All fluids synthetic(except coolant) and all redline. I have no problems and no leaks. This is the change interval from BMW for the past 50 years until recently with life long coolant, steering and trans fluids. Guess what-they are seeing failures increase on life long fluid cars. Auto trannies are going in 60-80k miles, cooling systems are failing earlier, and steering raks are leaking. FUnny thing is the oil change interval is 8-10k depending on the computer and that has not changed, nor have they changed the recommendation on flushing the brake fluid or differential. All I can say is that regardless of the vehicle-the cost of flushing your fluids bi-annualy with quality products costs about $300 every two years excluding oil changes. TO me it makes sense and I have a car that has proved it to me.

In my wife's old '02 Bravada we did changed the fluids on the same interval. Service writer siad it is rare to see anyone still do this. Needless to say with syn throughout the car we had no problems with it until the accident that totaled it. Cost at the dealer in total was $350 with Redline Fluids that I provided.

t wardlaw
6th November 2010, 02:08 AM
oil life is whatever you want it to be,if you own it make it your responsibility to maintain it properly,change oil every 3 to 5 thousand miles,change air filter every 10 thousand.synthetic is for turbos,unless its an aero(race truck)dont bother.this will keep your carefree motoring at 100%

Dirty 30
8th November 2010, 12:10 PM
I always recommend checking the oil manually thru the dip stick.

"An oil life monitor built into the ECM calculates deterioration in oil life based on how the engine is being used within its operating parameters and alerts the driver when oil changes are necessary. This eliminates unnecessary oil changes in vehicles that are driven in light-duty conditions."

"All Gen IV Vortec 5300s will be shipped to the customers with new engine oil that reduces engine deposits, extends oil change intervals, improves fuel economy and extends the life of emissions control systems. GM Powertrain has taken a leading role in developing and introducing the new oil, designated GF-4 (for “Gasoline Fueled, Standard 4’’) by the American Petroleum Institute.

GF-4 contains a new ash-free antioxidant ingredient and less phosphorous than the previous formulation (GF-3). The typical automotive engine now operates at a much higher temperature than an engine built 10 years ago, and GF-4 is twice as resistant to oxidizing (which can present itself as foaming) at high operating temperatures. At the same time, GF-4 provides better low-temperature protection, reducing engine wear during the critical cold-start period. Lower phosphorus and sulfur content – chemicals that are harmful to catalytic converters – will extend anticipated catalyst life beyond 120,000 miles. Finally, GF-4 lowers friction overall and retains its optimal friction-reducing characteristics longer. The result is an anticipated fuel-economy improvement of 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent, and longer oil change intervals."

9th November 2010, 07:57 PM
my manual says you can use syn if it reaches a certain temperature outside.

However, I change mine every 5K, pennzoil plat.

11th November 2010, 03:51 PM
My 05 97X came with synthetic oil when I purchased it from the dealer 2.5 years ago. It had 26k and sat on dealer lot for 13 months before I purchased. Yes they gave me a new set of tires. Previous owner did a very good job of maintenance. So I have continued that trend of using the oil life monitor. I think I have just hit the 35k point.


28th November 2010, 09:16 AM
Every 5,000 miles with good old regular dino oil.

This isn't a high enough performance engine, in my opinion, to justify the elevated cost of either more frequent changes or higher end oil.

Remember what these engines came out...pick up truck basically...This is an American SUV.

Dirty 30
28th November 2010, 10:42 AM
Every 5,000 miles with good old regular dino oil.

This isn't a high enough performance engine, in my opinion, to justify the elevated cost of either more frequent changes or higher end oil.

Remember what these engines came out...pick up truck basically...This is an American SUV.

well, not saying u will or wont have any problems using "old regular dino oil" but the 5.3L/6.0L arent old dino engines. They arent very sophisticated or anything but they are newer generations of those old dino engines. The materials, clearances, valvetrain, etc are the reason they would probably recommend synthetic oil, IMO. Higher end oil yes, frequent changes, depends on each vehicle and its use, check dipstick.
They are high enough of a performance engine, made to perform medium duty ike towing, etc. Being an "LSx" based engine, they are similar to what u see in a Corvette.

30th November 2010, 02:20 AM
I have an 06 5.3i and had a strange issue with it. First off, i purchased used and the tires on the front and rear were different brands. the front tires were more worn than the rear tires. Well, I had no idea that was such an issue especially with our AWD systems. However, the 1/4in of difference in diameter really messed up my front differential over time and caused some strange noises. I went to a local tire shop and replace two tires with the ones that matched the rear. The noise went away, but i still had 2k in repairs to the front differential. All I can say is to make sure that your tires are all wearing the same. So much as a small difference in diameter of tire wear will put tons of strain on your drivetrain. The encoder motor will only disable the AWD system, if you have any damage to your drivetrain it needs to be addressed. The fluids in this car must be changed every 50k miles. Make sure you change the transfer case with the special GM fluid also.